Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark

Cover of Justice League Dark #9 (July 2012)
Art by Ryan Sook.
Group publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Justice League Dark #1 (September 2011)
Created by Peter Milligan
In-story information
Base(s) House of Mystery
Member(s) See below
Justice League Dark
Cover for Justice League Dark #1 (September 2011).
Art by Ryan Sook.
Series publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Superhero
Publication date September 2011 – March 2015
Number of issues 40 (plus a 0 issue, Futures End One-Shot, and 2 annuals)
Main character(s) John Constantine
Madame Xanadu
Swamp Thing
See below
Creative team
Writer(s) Peter Milligan (#1–8), Jeff Lemire (#9–23, 0, Annual #1), Ray Fawkes (#15–21), J. M. DeMatteis (#24–40, Annual #2, Futures End #1) Dan DiDio (#23.1–23.2), Ann Nocenti (#23.1)
Artist(s) Mikel Janín
Creator(s) Peter Milligan
Mikel Janín

The Justice League Dark, or JLD, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. First appearing in Justice League Dark #1 (September 2011), the Justice League Dark originally featured John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Deadman, Shade, the Changing Man and Zatanna. The team consists of the more supernatural members of the DC Universe, handling situations deemed unfit for the traditional Justice League.

Publication history

Justice League Dark was announced on May 31, 2011 as a First Wave title of The New 52.[1] The title and team was created by Peter Milligan, with art by Mikel Janín. The title launched on September 28, 2011.[2] The title brought several of DC Comics' occult and offbeat characters, something which had been a trait of sister imprint Vertigo, back into the main DC Universe following Vertigo's editorial change to publish purely new, creator owned content.[3][4]

The Search for Swamp Thing, a three part miniseries released between June and August 2011 which led up to The New 52 relaunch, and followed the events of the Brightest Day maxi-series, follows Constantine's search for the resurrected Alec Holland as the new Swamp Thing, involving the cooperation of Batman, Zatanna and Superman.[5] In addition, the Flashpoint: Secret Seven miniseries, written by Milligan as part of the "Flashpoint" crossover storyline, included Enchantress and Shade and introduced the character Mindwarp in the lead-up to the start of the series.[6]

Peter Milligan stated in an interview that he got the job for the book from his work on the 2011 Flashpoint: Secret Seven miniseries, and that he hoped to write something "emotionally dark" set in the DC Universe, comparing his characters to detectives, who struggle to cope with the things they see and have to do.[7] The initial anticipation for this title has been good, with critics celebrating the fact that DC are willing to bring back some of the darker elements which had moved over to Vertigo in the 1990s.[8]

The opening storyline involves Enchantress' defeat of the Justice League, leading to the necessity of a more supernatural team to assist in these events, and detailing how they have come together.[9] There is also a minor crossover story with I...Vampire.[10] From issue nine, Sweet Tooth and Animal Man writer Jeff Lemire became the principal writer on the series.[11] In his first story arc, the Justice League Dark took residence in their new base, at the House of Mystery, and have started to show their links with the wider DC Universe, dealing with Steve Trevor and A.R.G.U.S.[12][13]

In August 2013, it was announced that J. M. DeMatteis would take over as series writer from Lemire in November 2013, after a solo issue by Ray Fawkes in October.[14]


Early in the run, Peter Milligan stated that he was, "ruling no-one out" for future appearances, amid speculation that both Ragman and The Spectre may feature in future comics.[15] However, writer Jeff Lemire did not include either during the series, having added Black Orchid and Frankenstein, among others, to the team.[12][16]

All members joined in issue 1 unless otherwise noted.[9]

Collected editions

The series has been collected into the following trade paperbacks:

In other media


Members of the team were scheduled to appear in an episode of Constantine.[28] The series was cancelled before they could be featured.[29]



Rumors in November 2012 suggested that Guillermo del Toro was working on a Justice League Dark film titled Heaven Sent. It would feature Deadman, the Spectre, Swamp Thing, John Constantine, Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, Zatara, Sargon the Sorcerer, and Etrigan the Demon.[30] Del Toro later confirmed in January 2013 that he is working on such a film, with the working title, Dark Universe, and was hiring a screenwriter. Del Toro revealed Swamp Thing, Constantine, The Spectre, Deadman, Zatanna and Zatara were characters in the story.[31]

In March 2013, del Toro gave an update on the film at WonderCon 2013, while talking about his film Pacific Rim. He revealed that the story bible was complete and he hoped to start the screenplay soon. Production would begin after his next project, Crimson Peak. The film's story would center around John Constantine recruiting Swamp Thing, Etrigan the Demon, Deadman, Spectre, and Zatanna. The film would not be an origin story, with each character already established and elements of their backstory coming into play throughout the film.[32] Del Toro also revealed that Floronic Man will be in the film.[33] In May 2013, del Toro revealed that his script features Constantine, Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Deadman and Zatanna as the team, with other "in the mix". He also revealed that he was still waiting for the go-ahead from Warner Bros. Pictures.[34] Del Toro revealed in July 2013 that he hopes the DC Extended Universe, which started with Man of Steel, will become as cohesive as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he added that if there was any correlation to that universe and this film, he would honor it.[35]

In October 2013, del Toro stated he felt his film would be able to coexist with the television series, Constantine and reiterated that the film was still active and in the writing process.[36] In July 2014, del Toro once again stated he was working on the film, and stated it would be independent from the universe established with Man of Steel, saying, "DC and Warners have been very clear that they are trying to keep [this film and Sandman] separate so when the time comes they can unite them, once they know they’re quantifiable." Del Toro also added that his Constantine would not adhere to the continuity established in the television series, but he would consider incorporating elements from it, and even think about casting the same actor (Matt Ryan).[37][38] In November 2014, del Toro confirmed that the script was complete and handed it in to Warner Bros. to be reviewed.[39] In December 2014, he hinted that the film will be part of the DC Extended Universe.[40]

In April 2015, del Toro said the script revision has been handed in and if there was availability in his schedule, he would direct it; if not, "somebody else will do it... [The film] needs to fall into the plan of the shared universe."[41] In June 2015, the film was confirmed to still be in development at Warner Bros., with some of their other Vertigo Comics film adaptions moving to New Line Cinema. The Hollywood Reporter stated that del Toro was no longer attached to the project.[42] In August 2016, it was announced that Doug Liman will direct the film with del Toro and Scott Rudin producing and Michael Gilio writing with the film being titled Dark Universe.[43][44]


In June 2016, it was revealed that an animated Justice League Dark film was in development as the next film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. In July 2016, the film was announced at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International and both John Constantine and Swamp Thing are confirmed to appear respectively.[45][46] Zatanna, Deadman, Etrigan the Demon and Black Orchid will also be appearing as members of the team.[47] The film was given the release window of Fall 2016. A sneak peek, with interviews by some of the creators, was provided as a special feature for the DVD and Blu-ray release of Batman: The Killing Joke. The film will be digitally released on January 24, 2017 and on DVD and Blu-ray on February 7, 2017.[48]

See also


  1. "DC's Full September 2011 Solicitations [DCnU]". Newsarama. May 31, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  2. Langshaw, Mark (June 7, 2011). "DC unveils supernatural titles". Digital Spy. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  3. "Karen Berger Confirms DC Characters To Leave Vertigo". Bleedingcool.com. 2010-07-23. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  4. "HELLBLAZER Canceled at Vertigo, Industry Reacts Strongly". Newsarama.com. 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  5. The Search for Swamp Thing 1-3 (June- August 2011), DC Comics
  6. George Perez, Fernando Blanco (p), Scott Koblish (i), Tom Smith (col), Rob Leigh (let). "Part One: Hunter's Moone" Flashpoint: Secret Seven 1 (August 2011), DC Comics
  7. 1 2 Rogers, Vaneta (June 9, 2011). "Justice League Dark interview with Peter Milligan". Newsarama. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  8. Johnston, Rich (June 13, 2011). "The 12 DC Relauch Books We're Most Excited About". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 Peter Milligan (w), Mikel Janin (a). "In the Dark Part 1: Imaginary Women" Justice League Dark 1 (November 2012), DC Comics
  10. 1 2 Peter Milligan (w), Daniel Sampere (a). "The Leaving Part 3 of Rise of the Vampires" Justice League Dark 8 (June 2012), DC Comics
  11. Esposito, Joey (January 31, 2013). "More New 52 Change-Ups". IGN. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 Jeff Lemire (w), Mikel Janin (a). "The Black Room" Justice League Dark 9 (July 2012), DC Comics
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 Jeff Lemire (w), Graham Nolan, Victor Drujiniu (a). "Enter The House of Mystery..." Justice League Dark 14 (January 2013), DC Comics
  14. Sunu, Steve (August 9, 2013). "Exclusive: DeMatteis Joins "Justice League Dark" in November". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  15. Esposito, Joey (September 29, 2011). "The New 52 Interviews: Justice League Dark". IGN. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  16. 1 2 3 4 Jeff Lemire (w), Mikel Janin (a). "The War for the Books of Magic Conclusion" Justice League Dark Annual 1 (December 2012), DC Comics
  17. Jeff Lemire (w), Mikel Janin (a). "The Black Room Part Two" Justice League Dark 10 (August 2012), DC Comics
  18. J.M. DeMatteis (w), Tom Derenick (a). "The Amber of the Moment, Part One: Long before Yesterday" Justice League Dark 35 (December 2014), DC Comics
  19. 1 2 3 Jeff Lemire (w), Mikel Janin (a). "The Black Room Part Three" Justice League Dark 11 (September 2012), DC Comics
  20. 1 2 Peter Milligan (w), Mikel Janin (a). "In the Dark Part 3: Shibboleths and Alcohol" Justice League Dark 3 (January 2012), DC Comics
  21. Peter Milligan (w), Mikel Janin (a). "In the Dark Part Finale: There Was A Crooked Man" Justice League Dark 5 (March 2013), DC Comics
  22. DeMatteis, J. M. (w), Blanco, Fernando, Miguel Sepulveda (a), Anderson, Brad (col), Lanham, Travis (let). "Forever Evil: Blight: Seize the Fire!" Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger v4, 15 (February 2014), DC Comics
  23. Christy Marx (w), Travis Moore, Karl Story (a). "Hostile Takeover" Sword of Sorcery 4 (January 2013), DC Comics
  24. Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes (w), Mikel Janin, Vincente Cifuentes (a). "Horror City" Justice League Dark 19-21 (June 2013), DC Comics
  25. 1 2 Ray Fawkes, Jeff Lemire (w), Mikel Janin (a). "The Death of Magic Part 4 The Last Stand" Justice League Dark 18 (May 2013), DC Comics
  26. Hughes, Joseph (April 4, 2013). "Zatanna To Join The Justice League In Issue #22 With A New Look". Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  27. Schedeen, Jesse (April 30, 2013). "Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire Prepare for Trinity War". IGN. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  28. Sandy Schaefer (16 October 2014). "David S. Goyer Talks 'Constantine', Justice League Dark & DC TV Show Crossovers". Screen Rant. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  29. Ausiello, Michael (May 8, 2015). "Constantine Cancelled at NBC". TVLine. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  30. Chavez, Kellvin (November 1, 2012). "Exclusive: Señor Fenix Knows The Futures Of Locke & Key, Powers, Revival, JJ Abrams and Guillermo del Toro". Latino Review. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  31. Collura, John (January 7, 2013). "Guillermo del Toro Talks Dark Universe, His DC Comics Supernatural Heroes Movie". IGN. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  32. Vejvoda, Jim (March 30, 2013). "WonderCon: Del Toro Talks Justice League Dark Movie". IGN. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  33. Goldberg, Matt (April 1, 2013). "Guillermo del Toro Talks Justice League Dark, Reveals another Character on the Team, the Status of the Screenplay, and More". Collider. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  34. Cook, Tommy (May 13, 2013). "Guillermo Del Toro Gives Updates on Justice League Dark and His HBO Series Monster; Premieres New Trailer For Pacific Rim". Collider. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  35. "Pacific Rim" Director Guillermo del Toro Updates Us On His Developing Projects. MTV. July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  36. Collura, Scott (October 15, 2013). "Guillermo del Toro Says Justice League Dark and the John Constantine TV Show Can Coexist". IGN. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  37. Douglas, Edward (July 26, 2014). "Comic-Con Exclusive: Guillermo del Toro's Dark Universe Will be Separate from Other DC Projects… for Now". Superhero Hype. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  38. Guillermo Del Toro Reveals Details About Pacific Rim 2 - Comic Con 2014
  39. Hughes, Mark (November 25, 2014). "Exclusive - 'Justice League: Dark' Script In Studio Hands Today". Forbes. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  40. Nemiroff, Perri (December 1, 2014). "Guillermo del Toro Talks THE STRAIN Season 2, What He's Directing Himself, FRANKENSTEIN, DARK UNIVERSE, and More". Collider. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  41. Couto, Anthony (April 1, 2015). "GUILLERMO DEL TORO OFFERS UPDATE ON JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK". IGN. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  42. Kit, Borys (June 29, 2015). "Warner Bros. Moves 'Sandman' to New Line as Part of DC Comics Shuffle". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  43. Kroll, Justin (August 24, 2016). "Doug Liman to Direct 'Dark Universe' for DC, Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  45. Mueller, Matthew (June 7, 2016). "Justice League Dark Revealed To Be Next DC Animated Movie". Comicbook.com. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  46. Damore, Meagan (July 23, 2016). "SDCC: "JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK" ANIMATED FILM CONFIRMED; "TEEN TITANS" & MORE ANNOUNCED". Comic Book Resources.
  47. Perry, Spencer (July 26, 2016). "Justice League Dark Featurette Reveals Matt Ryan Returns as Constantine!". Superhero Hype.
  48. Perry, Spencer (November 16, 2016). "Justice League Dark Release Date and Cover Art". comingsoon.net. Retrieved November 17, 2016.

External links

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